Our Team

Director – Kerri Flanagan

Operations Manager – Michelle Steadman

Co-ordinator – Shabana Amin

Co-ordinator – Rachael Haslam

Co-ordinator – Christie Lanquetin

Co-ordinator – Sarah Christian

Group Co-ordinator – Rachel Battye

Group Co-ordinator – Marina Taylor

Group Worker – Leeanne McGrath

Family Support Worker – Rachel Gordon

Business Manager – Emma Franks

Administrator  – Vicky Wilde


Our Trustees have legal responsibility for the charity and employ the staff team. They set our strategic direction and oversee the work we do. Our Trustee board consists of:


Lynda PLynda Pickering –  Chair

Lynda spent her working life in what has now become Department of Work and Pensions.  After many years in the benefit areas, she spent some time in finance and fraud, before becoming a management consultant which she considers the human equivalent of WD40! She has a lot of experience in project management from feasibility to evaluation and hopes some of this experience can be used to support Home-Start Kirklees’ activities.

Outside work, she has 2 daughters, five grandchildren and a neurotic dog – all of them well past Home-Start’s target age range. Fortunately, she has a reasonably good memory.  She is pleased to have the opportunity to help other families get a helping hand when it’s most useful.


David M_Edit

David Mason – Treasurer

BSc (Hons 1), ACMA, FBCS, FIMC, CEng

David has lived in the Holme Valley for over 50 years.  He is married with two grown sons.  He has been a director of several companies with over 30 years’ experience at board level in both the public and private sectors.  His career took him all over the world working for a large international consultancy and other international organizations such as the UN, USAID and the European Commission.  He has significant experience of both in the UK and abroad of improving business systems’ economy, efficiency and effectiveness and can demonstrate making savings in excess of £30 million per annum.  He joined Home-Start in 2016 as our Treasurer.

Vanessa S

Vanessa Stirum

Vanessa Stirum joined Home-Start as a trustee in 2016. She worked in the probation service for 25 years and has been working as a divorce mediator across West and South Yorkshire for the past 10 years.

This has been combined with non-executive roles in the NHS stretching back to 1992, her most recent being a lay member of greater Huddersfield GP commissioning group. This gives her a good understanding of the current funding landscape.

On a personal level Vanessa is married and lives in Almondbury with her husband. All her children are grown up and she now has three grandchildren who she is lucky enough to see on a regular basis which is keeping her very fit! Vanessa believes Home Start has a bright and exciting future thanks to the fantastic contribution made by staff, trustees, volunteers and families.

Arthur M_EditArthur Martin

Born in Lincolnshire, raised and educated in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, the son of a miner, Arthur has lived in Yorkshire for the past 40 years.  He has worked in social care for 37 years in a variety of roles including children’s residential services, youth offending, group work, social work and social care management. He has also lectured at Thomas Danby College, Leeds and Bradford College. Arthur is a qualified social worker and manager gaining both qualifications in Bradford.

He has been committed to improving children’s services and ensuring children and families have the best possible support in their lives. In providing training, he has tried to ensure that workers continually improve their knowledge and practice, this includes student social workers as practice educators. Arthur’s own interests are his family, travel and sports.

Toni G_EditToni Gibbs – Vice Chair

Married for 31 years to Jonathan, she is a mother of three energetic grown up children and now a grandma to a young grandaughter.

Toni first began volunteering with Home Start on the Wirral when her youngest child started school. Toni has a background in both early years and the BBC. As a people person she felt it the best way for her to ‘give something back’. She never imagined just how involved she would become over the years!

As the scheme expanded Toni trained as a Breastfeeding Peer Supporter. She also came to realize that families often needed even more practical support than Home Start could give them, and with others with a similar vision, set up and ran, alongside her Home Start visiting, The Besom in Wirral, a local Christian organisation which sought to match local giving to local need. She worked very closely with families and statutory and voluntary agencies to try and improve home conditions by encouraging others to give skills, time or things.

Toni’s husband’s job brought them to Kirklees four years ago. In her spare time she loves upholstery classes, exploring the countryside and spending time with friends and her expanding family.

Alison Fisher Alison Fisher

Alison finished almost 40 years of working for the Probation service in West Yorkshire in April 2018 and became a trustee of Home-Start in October.  In her most recent years in Probation Alison was based in the HR team, delivering training and ensuring compliance with Equalities legislation.   She has a keen interest in staff development and inclusion.   Alison has previous experience as a school governor, as a non-executive director of the local heath trust and nationally representing parents on the General Teaching Council.  She also has several years’ experience working in professional regulation.  She was previously a trustee of the Together Women Project and is also a council member of the St Hild Theological College in Mirfield.   She has had a long-standing interest in supporting women within the Criminal Justice system and is hoping she can bring experience of both this aspect of her career and also HR experience to support Home-Start locally.

Alison has two (very different!) daughters, one a dance teacher in Huddersfield, one a chemist in Oxfordshire.  Spare time interests include canals, photography, music and theatre and she has recently become a volunteer steward at the Lawrence Batley Theatre and sings with a local women’s choir.

Sue W Pic edited Sue Whittles

Sue Whittles became a trustee of Home-Start Kirklees in July 2019.  She spent all her working life in education, as a secondary school teacher.  She reckons that retirement has given her far fewer grey hairs and wrinkles!  She has a husband,  2 sons and 3 grandsons; pink is an alien colour in her household. Recreation includes reading, gardening, travel and hill walking.

She was a Home-Start family volunteer for 9 years with Home-Start Barnsley (later South Yorkshire), combining this with being a trustee for 5 of those years.  She resolved to join Home-Start after reading about the charity whist working and hearing a colleague wistfully saying of a troubled and troublesome girl that had her parents had some help when she was young, she would have been a very different child and realising that Home-Start could provide that help.  She still enjoys the challenges and joys of home visiting.